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U-Boat Movements - 1939 to 1945

U-Boat Movements - 1939 to 1945

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Published by Kintyre On Record
Nearly 2,500-pages of text tracking the movements of German U-Boats in World War II
Nearly 2,500-pages of text tracking the movements of German U-Boats in World War II

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Published by: Kintyre On Record on Mar 02, 2008
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05/08/2014

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F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
Karl DönitzKarl Dönitz
, (b. Sept. 16, 1891, Grünau in Berlin, Germany - d.Dec. 22, 1980, Aumühle, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany),president of Germany (1945). He entered the German Navy in1910 and during World War I served as a submarine officer in theBlack Sea and the Mediterranean. After the war he continued hisnaval career first as commander of a torpedo boat and later of the cruiser Emden. In the aftermath of Adolf Hitler's accession topower, despite the Versailles Treaty's absolute ban on Germansubmarine construction, Dönitz clandestinely supervised thecreation of a new U-boat fleet, over which he was subsequentlyappointed commander (1936). Because of the shortage of materials and the priority Hitler gave to the Luftwaffe, Germanyhad only 25 U-boats capable of service in the Atlantic at theoutbreak of World War II. By the end of the war, however, around1,000 U-boats had been built and placed in service, more thanhalf of which were destroyed by the Allies. Out of 39,000 menwho served aboard German U-boats, 27,082 perished. In themidst of World War II, in January 1943, he was called to replaceAdm. Erich Raeder as commander in chief of the German Navy.His loyalty and ability soon won him the confidence of Hitler. OnApril 20, 1945, shortly before the collapse of the Nazi regime,Hitler appointed Dönitz head of the northern military and civilcommand. Finally - in his last political testament - Hitler namedDönitz his successor as president of the Reich, minister of war,and supreme commander of the armed forces. Assuming thereins of government on May 2, 1945, Dönitz retained office foronly a few days. In 1946 he was sentenced to 10 years'imprisonment by the International Military Tribunal atNuremberg. He was released from prison in 1956.
Notes Regarding The F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
August 15, 1939 to January 15, 1945Without this "composite" collection, researchers have tostruggle through a series of nearly 130 separate reportsto follow the sequence of 'expectations and reports'about the movement of Germany's WWII U-Boats
,
a time-consuming exercise which
,
for many
,
thankfully
,
can beshort-cut here by simply using the Edit / Find facility onthe computer toolbar and entering no more than thenumber of the U-Boat in question
. The reports here may be found in the archives of The U.S. NavalHistorical Center (NHC), at The Navy Yard, Washington D.C. andtoo, in German, in The U.S. National Archives and RecordsAdministration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C..
Not included here
, is either the report for the period October16 to 31, 1943, the original, unfilmed, to be found as item RM87/32, in the custody of the Bundesarchiv-Abt. Militararchiv, orthe reports from January 16 to April 21, 1945, which areunderstood to be found elsewhere, in German, on 'microreels3900 and 1755-1759, 1995'.
1
 
Only the opening report
,
for August 15 to September 15
,
1939 has been 'tidied up' for ease of reading andintroduction
,
those following being 'text scans' of thetranslated reports and
,
being 'unedited further'
,
interrupted by Date
,
Position
,
Wind
,
Weather and SeaState
,
Illumination
,
Events
,
Time
,
Air Pressure andMoonlight etc. 'log book page column headings'
,
these'page layouts' adhered to by the various translators
.Anyone who might be tempted to continue the scheme of highlighting and 'tightening up' of the 'raw text' reports shouldbe prepared set aside some 400 hours of work, around somethree months of their lives, to complete the works initiated here,the product 'cosmetic' rather than of any much extrafunctionality !
15 August 1939
(Kiel)
1200
 Telephone call from Supreme Command of the Navy(Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf) saying that the officers' party for U-boatofficers was to be on Saturday 19.8 and as many as possiblewere to be present. Were there no orders ?
1300
Following steps taken :1)F.O. U/B informed by telephone.2)Deputy S.O. of 2nd U-Flotilla, Lieut. Franz, informed.U-28 / U-29 / U-33 / U-34 can be ready by Saturday.3)C.O. of U-26 informed of emergency order for NorthSea. Detailed orders received later through S.O.6th U-Flotilla.4)6th U-Flotilla ordered by radio to break off firingpractice.5)U-57 recalled from Pillau, U-47 from Neustadt. U-48, with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla on board, recalled andS.O. 7th U-Flotilla informed of the North Seaemergency exercise. He is making preparationsimmediately. U-45/51 will arrive, tonight.
1700
 T/P from Supreme Command of the Navy received :a)10 U-boats to sail 19.8 (Orders are ready and will beissued).b)4 U-boats of the 2nd U-Flotilla are to sail with theabove (Arranged, see 1330).c)These 4 boats to be replaced by boats of the 5th U-Flotilla.d)Further boats are to be made ready quickly and it isto be reported when they are ready. Staff officer toEckenfoerde to see about U-42.
2240
"Memel" arrived, having been recalled, with 1 G7a (T.N.air-driven torpedo) and 15 G7e (T.N. electric torpedo) belongingto 7th U-Flotilla on board to be handed over to boats of the 7thU-Flotilla.
2300
 The question of giving U-58-59 another torpedo practicewith a target ship and 4 torpedo recovery vessels wasconsidered, but the project was later abandoned as impracticalin view of the general situation.
16 August 1939
0230
S.O. 6th U-Flotilla arrived and was informed of duties andsituation in accordance with "emergency exercise North Sea."He then left on board U-37 for Wilhelmshaven, with orders for U-28 / U-29 / U-33 / U-34, to prepare his boats.
1007
Decision by Supreme Command of the Navy: radioservice to begin 0800/19/8
German Summer Time
.
1140
Orders received from F.O. Scouting Forces for case WEISS.
1315
 Telephone call from Group West, C-in-C Group West wishesto see F.O. U/B-designate personally.
1400
F.O. U/B returned from leave. Chief of Staff handed overto F.O. U/B.
2
 
1500
Arranged with Supreme Command of the Navy for U-boatradio service to begin at 0000/19/8, so that the boats can put tosea as soon as ever possible.
1530
F.O. U/B arranged to see C-in-C Group West at 1730/18/8.
17 August 1939
Instructions to 2nd, 6th and 7th U-Flotillas :6th U-Flotilla to sail, with Flotilla S.O., at 0000/19/8.7th U-Flotilla to sail at 0000/19/8.4 boats of 2nd U-Flotilla to follow at first light on 19.8 orlater.Station Commands will supply the boats of the 3 flotillaswith 2nd watch-keeping officers.
1900
During a telephone conversation with Wilhelmshaven itcame out that there were not enough operational torpedoesready. This was immediately reported by telephone to Berlin.See also F.O. U/B's special report on operational torpedoes, of which there are an insufficient number in spite of F.O. U/B'surging the matter for nearly 4 years.
18 August 1939
 
0900
S.O. 3rd U-Flotilla informed that F.O. U/B had decided tofinish watchkeeping officers' torpedo-firing practice; andboats then to enter port on Friday night (18/19/8) toreceive further orders.
1000
After consulting with Supreme Command of the Navy thefollowing organization was approved by Naval WarStaff(1st Division) :F.O. U/B with staff on board ERWIN WASSNERF.O. U/B West Lieut. Comdr. Ibbeken, with Lieut. Loof (Staff office) and staff of 1st and 2nd U-FlotillasAlso F.O. U/B Baltic At the disposal of CommanderSchomburg with staff of F.O. U/B Baltic.If case WEISS should develop into a major action, F.O. U/Bwould go to Wilhelmshaven with ERWIN WASSNER.
1130
F.O. U/B took leave of the C.O.s of the 7th U-Flotilla, whoare going into the Atlantic.
1430
F.O. U/B flew to Wilhelmshaven. Took leave of the C.Os of the 6th U-FLotilla and 4 C.O.s of the 2nd U-Flotilla who aregoing into the Atlantic. F.O. U/B gave personalinstructions to the S.O. of the 6th U-Flotilla who is goinginto the Atlantic in U-37. F.O. U/B introduced S.O. of 2ndU-Flotilla, who is taking over the duties of F.O. U/B West, tothe Group Command. F.O. U/B ordered U 31/32/35 to be inKiel on the afternoon of 21/8 and the C.O.s to come onboard ERWIN WASSNER to receive orders. "Saar" to be inKiel at 0700/21/8 to re-adjust mines if necessary.
19 August 1939
 
0000
 The following sailed :U 45/46/47/48/52 from KielU 37/38/39/40/41 from WilhelmshavenU 28/29/33/34 from Wilhelmshaven.
0800
S.O. 6th U-Flotilla, in U 37 was put in tactical command.F.O. U/B remains in operational command.
0900
S.O.s of 3rd and 5th U-Flotilla arrived for conference.Orders were issued and the 3rd and 5th U-Flotillasinstructed to be in the Rügen and Warnemünde sea areasrespectively on the evening of 22/8. Depot ships toremain at sea until Y hour. Flotillas fitting out. F.O. U/B
3